The internet is still growing at an extremely fast pace. It has
500 million users worldwide and approximately 45 million domains
are registered. The introduction of the new TLD- Domain .cn for
China shows that very dynamic regions for internet business are
just being opened. A tremendous increase in the number of users,
domains and internet pages can be expected.
Development of hosts worldwide
The number of hosts indicates that the number of servers linked
to the internet is rising continuously. Due to so-called dynamic
pages, those whose contents are generated from databases, the
actual number of internet pages can only be estimated, and this
number ranges between 6 and 8 billion.
More relevant than the actual number of web pages, is the continual
fluctuation and change of content in them. Along with the quantitative
and qualitative growth of the internet, infringements against
IPR are also increasing, along with the need for continuous and
precise “in use” monitoring.
The internet, while serving as a global market place, is also
an important platform for product and brand piracy and counterfeiting,
and a medium for misuse of brands, products and copyrights. The
unauthorized copying of products and brands is always linked to
the unauthorized use of brands and logos.
The internet contributes to this kind of crime against intellectual
property, as it allows logos, pictures and texts to be easily
According to current estimates of the DIHK (German chamber of
industry and commerce), product and brand counterfeiting causes,
every year, economic losses totaling approximately 29 billion
Euro. More than 70,000 jobs have been destroyed in the last few
years, due to this form of economic crime. Brands and images,
as well as the company name are substantial components of what
constitutes the entire enterprise value.
Brands that are globally known have an added value of billions
of dollars. An erosion of these assets by defaming, boycott pages,
rumors, fraud and slander can produce direct effects on the company
value. In a time of increasing conflicts concerning Intellectual
Property Rights, especially in regard to the new media, the importance
of precise monitoring tools, which react with innovative technologies
to this new forms of crime, is growing on a daily basis.
Through domain grabbing, cyber squatting and typo
squatting, well known names are registered as domains or “typodomains”
without authorization. These domains spread defamation, competing
contents or are offered for sale.
By the listing of well known names into the Metatags
of a page, users end up accessing pages that are linked with brand
counterfeiting, pornography etc. This kind of infringement, called
traffic diversion, is even more effective when invisible terms
are hidden on pages, providing brand pirates with an improved
search engine ranking.
By frame linking, cloaking (linking of a page without
address line in the Browser) and cloning of pages (producing identical
or nearly identical pages), collaboration and references can be
simulated, making it possible to offer counterfeited products
and brands for sale, in an apparently authentic environment.
Besides the unauthorized use of products and brands,
IPRG also detects any rumors that are being spread that could,
for example, affect share values, web pages encouraging political
or religiously motivated boycotts, web pages that attempt to offend
or insult, or web pages whose contents could be considered fraudulent.
The observance of copyrights during the retrieval of music, pictures,
films and texts is a further field of deployment.
These kind of crimes can cause both direct and
indirect damage. Examples of direct damage could include income
losses caused by the lost benefits of licensing or product sales.
Examples of indirect damage include serious loss of faith in the
brand image caused by the low quality of counterfeited products,
and rumors being spread.
Since these damages can only be valued and adjusted in a few
cases, an early and comprehensive detection of these crimes is
vital. Because of this, IPRG has been developed for continuous
Conflict management and watching is used during, or after, a
litigation or the application of judgements. The guidelines of
Corporate Design and Corporate Image for brand management must
be continually supervised both internally (on the company’s
own pages) and externally (with licensees, collaborating and sales
Certain brand projects, such as the renaming of an enterprise
(e.g. Fusion) or a brand release (revision of the logo), must
be administered for a certain period of time. The development
of a brand's high profile has to be administered in order to draw
conclusions for marketing purposes.